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My lazy grey water "system" (Hint: it's not very good, but it's something!)

 
master steward
Posts: 14572
Location: Pacific Northwest
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I have a small house, and as such, my washing machine is located a mere 10 steps from my kitchen sink (I counted--it really is 10 steps). I also discovered that it heats water (it was the only thing giving hot water after my husband's shower and kids' baths). So, when I need to wash a duck egg, I just turn on the washing machine and wash the egg in the hot water, and I don't have to worry about wasting wasting water while it's heating up...because the water is going straight into what will be my next load of laundry.

I've also just taken pots of dishwater, or water that I was waiting to heat up, and dumped it right in my washing machine. If my washing machine wasn't so close, I'm sure I wouldn't use it so often this way. But, since it IS so close, it's really easy to repurpose the water straight into a future load of laundry!
 
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I often see people washing dishes in the metal sink but the rinse water is in a separate plastic container. Usually rinse water is still pretty clean at the end of the operation. Seems like the perfect vessel for transporting that water. And I think for most people, that's hot water.

This little washing machine is 2 steps or one very large step from where dishes are washed, in a kitchen/laundry room.

It drains into a gutter built into the concrete floor, which then goes into a PVC pipe and travels about 20 feet to the grey water system, which is a large clump of bananas. Other clumps of bananas serve as urinals for men.

My water heating system involved 20 liter water containers set just outside the door of the kitchen. I used it to do warm loads of clothes washing and for showering. It didn't work very well on rainy days and I was forced to use water that was only about 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
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gardener
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Location: SoCal USA
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My location is usually very dry and windy, so plants need plenty of extra water. I have a plastic bin that's been in the garage, but this thread reminded me that every time I take a shower and I'm waiting for that cold water to magically warm up, I'm wishing I had that plastic bin in the garage to catch this wasted water to water my plants. So now the bin is in the shower!
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I hate seeing hot water go down the drain so much, that I almost always use just the cold water tap in the kitchen. The first thing I do is fill up the big kettle and hit the button. Now I have hot water whenever it's needed and I don't have to send a whole bunch under the floor.

Whenever we use just a small amount of hot water, the amount that leaves the water tank but just sits in the pipes after we're done, can be more than what we actually used. Not quite so bad if the house is being heated. When this is done in the summer, it adds to the air conditioning load as the water cools off. So I use the kettle and cover it with a thick towel if I'm leaving it hot for a few minutes.

I've seen people taking their time washing dishes, and they will run the hot water again to heat it up, but they get some cold at first, each time, so eventually some of the warm water has to be drained make room. Very wasteful.
 
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Location: Haida Gwaii, British Columbia (7b)
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We’re on rainwater here in the “rainforest”, where there are droughts in the summer (perhaps the new “normal” as they say).

Nicole, that’s a fantastic use of stacking functions!

When we have city people stay with us, expecting their many showers per week routine to ben upheld, we are thankful for our tiny hot water tank which definitely limits usage without as having to lecture them about water conservation.

Mark - Last summer I also took up the routine of collecting the pre-shower-cold-water in a bucket, along with food-boiling leftovers (eggs, pasta, etc) to feed the plants when it’s exceptionally hot. It’s efficient!

I do collect a bit of “extra” rainwater as well, but come drought, the kids often use half for play, and the rest goes to the fruit trees!

Luckily this year I tapped into a sort of muddy spring (dug out a chronic wet spot) right by the gardens, so I’ll have some nice swampy water to feed the garden in case of drought.

Next year i want to try to tap into filtering some of the mysterious human-made swale-ponds built into the forested hillside above our house...
 
Posts: 19
Location: South Florida
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Our system has 3 parts– bathroom, kitchen, washer.

Bathroom– catch all water in tub and sink in bucket (tub) or small bowl (sink)and use for watering plants.

Kitchen- use 2 dish tubs, one in each sink. One for washing our dishes (we're vegan) and the other for companion animals' dishes (they're carnivores). Wash ours, then use the soapy water for theirs, and we keep a bucket in the kitchen for used water which is for plants.
Washer-(in car port)- run hose to back yard and use washing water (collected rain water) for ornamentals and final rinse water for mini food forest.

Not complicated, but pretty efficient.
 
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